Perhaps one of Wisconsin's best-kept secrets—the Kickapoo Country Fair—is unrivaled as the largest celebration of organic food and lifestyles in the Midwest. This year's two-day event, taking place on Saturday and Sunday, July 24-25, in LaFarge, Wis., will celebrate the connections between food and the many cultures and communities in this unique corner of the state. Dr. Temple Grandin, recently named one of TIME Magazine's most influential people in the world and a leading national authority on humane livestock handling, will be the featured keynote speaker on Saturday.
Organic Valley, a farmer-owned cooperative of more than 1,600 organic family farmers nationwide, created the Kickapoo Country Fair seven years ago as a celebration of life in the Kickapoo River Valley. Nestled amidst the steep hills and coulees of southwestern Wisconsin's Driftless region, the Kickapoo Country Fair attracts thousands of attendees for two fun-packed days of delicious organic food, cooking demonstrations, live music, readings by renowned authors, bike and farm tours, theater, kids' activities, and dancing – all offered at an affordable price for families. Tickets, which provide access to all activities, are only $10 for adults and $8 for kids 12 and under on Saturday, and Sunday Family Day tickets are only $5 for adults and free for kids 12 and under.
"We're proud that the Kickapoo Country Fair has become an annual summer destination for growing numbers of Midwesterners. There's so much to celebrate about the many cultures and rural traditions here, and how better to show off the diversity than through food and live music,” said George Siemon, one of the founding farmers and CEO of Organic Valley. "This year, we're extremely honored to welcome Dr. Temple Grandin, whose work in humane animal care is an inspiration to our co-op's farmers and other animal-lovers nationwide.”
The heart of the fair is the Kickapoo Kitchen Tent, where fairgoers can participate in hands-on workshops, learn cooking techniques from chefs, meet Organic Valley farmers and sample free food all weekend long. If they're still hungry, organic food from local farmers and restaurants will be available to satisfy even the most adventurous and discerning of foodies, from organic Jamaican jerk chicken to organic fruit smoothies and organic maple cotton candy. A tasting of local Wisconsin beers and cheeses will also take place in the Kickapoo Kitchen tent late Saturday afternoon. For those looking to fortify themselves for a second day at the fair, an all-you-can-eat Kickapoo Country Breakfast will be offered on Sunday morning.
Other Featured Attractions
Beloved Wisconsin author and musician, Michael Perry, is just one of the artists Organic Valley has lined up for this year's fair. Perry will read from his latest book Coop, a Year Of Poultry, Pigs and Parenting, a humorous, heartfelt memoir of a new life in the country, and make a rare appearance with his band, the Long Beds.
Back by popular demand, the amazing "acrobaticalists” known as Nanda are returning for a third year to thrill kids and adults alike with their kung fu action-packed entertainment, both onstage and in a free workshop. For those looking for more nostalgic kinetics, the Hula Hoop Extravaganza on Sunday should put a nice spin on the day.
Additional activities taking place during the fair include Saturday night's mainstage headliner and rock ‘n roller Miles Nielsen with his own brand of "Beatles-esque cosmic Americana,” free tours of organic farms, children's activities, a "Green Village” featuring green building and lifestyle workshops, animal and heritage exhibits, and the fourth-annual Butter Churn Bike Tour.
All fair attendees who provide an email address at the "welcome tent” will be eligible for prizes awarded hourly, including Green Bay Packer tickets, Organic Valley coupons and a year's supply of Organic Valley dairy products. Attendees who complete an exit survey also will be entered into a drawing for free Organic Valley products.
Organic Valley created and hosts the Kickapoo Country Fair with support from more than 75 local businesses and organizations, including the Wisconsin Farmers Union's Kamp Kenwood, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services (MOSES), Kickapoo Green Builders Guild and the Kickapoo Valley Reserve.
For more information about the event, including the official schedule and area lodging information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.kickapoocountryfair.org.
Organic Valley Family of Farms: Independent and Farmer-Owned
Organic Valley is America's largest cooperative of organic farmers and is one of the nation's leading organic brands. Organized in 1988, it represents 1,631 farmers in 33 states and four Canadian provinces, and achieved $520 million in 2009 sales. Focused on its founding mission of saving family farms through organic farming, Organic Valley produces a variety of organic foods, including organic milk, soy, cheese, butter, spreads, creams, eggs, produce and juice, which are sold in supermarkets, natural foods stores and food cooperatives nationwide. The same farmers who produce for Organic Valley also produce a full range of delicious organic meat under the Organic Prairie Family of Farms label. For further information, call 1-888-444-MILK or visit www.organicvalley.coop, www.organicprairie.coop and the cooperative's farmer website, www.farmers.coop. Organic Valley is also on Twitter @Organic_Valley and Facebook www.facebook.com/OrganicValley .